DiscoverContemporary Romance

Fight for Me

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Family drama, tragic loss, heartbreak and healing- this one has it all! A turbulence of emotion that I can’t stop thinking about.

Synopsis

George lost his wife and son in a car crash four years ago. Bringing up his daughter by himself has been difficult. Piecing his life back together has been painful. When he relies on a woman to help care for his daughter, he begins to care about her in a way he hasn't for anyone in a long time. But when her life starts to spiral out of control, he has to make a decision between fighting by her side or walking away? But with yet more drama to come, can they really get their happy ever after or are they destined to be heartbroken?

Tragic loss is not foreign to George Matthews. Four years ago, he tragically lost his wife and infant son in a car accident that left him to raise his daughter, Angel, alone. He’s pushing though, though the memory of what he’s lost still haunts him. Thankful to rely on a woman to care for his daughter while he’s working, George has a great thing going with Erin. She’s reliable and trustworthy, and George’s daughter adores her. Things are going smooth, that is, until George and Erin get caught up in the moment after a late evening and share a kiss that changes their relationship forever. Has George made a huge mistake and disrupted the routine his daughter has only just become accustomed to, or with their lives change forever for the better with an inclusion of some new faces?


Fight for Me by S.P. Dawes was a hard one for me. Not because it was difficult to finish or I didn’t enjoy the story, though. The emotions that ran though me while reading the stories of George and Erin were deep, their fears and traumatic experiences through the story were so engulfing and raw that there was more than once occasion where I felt like I had become part of the story with them. I started this one on an afternoon while I was just enjoying some down-time, and it quickly became a book I knew I would finish in one sitting, despite it being a 200-ish page read. Although Fight for Me is the third installment in the Band of Brothers series, it was the first in the series that I picked up. There were a few moments where I wished I had read the first two books first, however, the author does a nice job at recapping the prior stories just enough to keep readers informed. Though I do recommend reading the first two books first, this one was written well enough that it can be read as a stand-alone also.


I felt so invested in the story of George and Erin, and I felt myself relating to Erin so many times throughout her story. Exceptionally well-written and with a focus to play on readers emotions, Fight for Me is a novel I would recommend to any reader who enjoys the heartfelt romance novels that stay with you long after turning the last page. I’m so pleased to have experienced this one and rate it 5 stars. The themes present were mature a times, so I would only recommend this one to readers who don’t mind some explicit language and sexual content, as there’s plenty to go around in this one. Exceptionally well-written and expressive, Fight for Me is one to remember.

Reviewed by

Hi! I’m Kourtney. I’m a full time accounting manager and a part time book reviewer. I’ve been an official member of the onlinebookclub review team for 4 years now, where I’ve gained a huge insight to the review and beta reading world.

Synopsis

George lost his wife and son in a car crash four years ago. Bringing up his daughter by himself has been difficult. Piecing his life back together has been painful. When he relies on a woman to help care for his daughter, he begins to care about her in a way he hasn't for anyone in a long time. But when her life starts to spiral out of control, he has to make a decision between fighting by her side or walking away? But with yet more drama to come, can they really get their happy ever after or are they destined to be heartbroken?

Dropping my daughter off with Erin every morning is heartbreaking. Not because Angel will cry, she 

doesn’t. It’s not even because I believe Erin is horrible to her, because she’s not, she’s amazing and I’m 

lucky to have found her. No, the reason I feel dreadful is that I see my daughter coping better than I am. 

She unwittingly shames me. I know she misses her mother and her brother, and I know at night when 

she really thinks about everything she’s lost; it hits her hard. But mostly, she’s gotten on with her life, 

and while I drop her off every morning before I walk into a classroom full of over excited children, I’m 

reminded of all I’ve lost. Everything I once had was stolen away from me, through the thoughtlessness 

of another. 

Carianne should be with her in the morning while I ready myself for work. Ensuring she eats her 

breakfast, brushes her teeth and combs her hair before strapping on her black patent shoes with the 

flashy heels, ready for school. I should be kissing them all before leaving. Knowing they had each other. 

Instead, I leave my only daughter in the hands of a woman I barely know, and only because an authority 

I spent most of my career despising, says it’s safe to do so. I have no choice but to trust they saw what 

was ‘real’ on their 3 yearly visit and not a rose-tinted representation she chose to present. 

Carianne was my life, had been since the very first time I met her. Those sparkling green eyes landed on 

me and stole my heart right out of my chest. All she really had to do from then was smile and I’d stop 

breathing. We met at work; she was a supply teacher, and I was her newly qualified colleague. I 

observed her with the children, helping them achieve their goals with such patience. I knew instantly 

that she would be a wonderful mother. 

Carianne was everything a man could wish for in a wife. She was loving and caring and full of life, with a 

giggle that set anyone off around her. We married with our entire lives mapped out ahead of us, and we 

tried for a family. Our hearts broke every time we lost that chance. Carianne was destroyed, and a piece 

of her heart broke off each time she told me it had happened again. The pressure became too much, 

and we decided to look into adoption. Shortly after the initial interview, we found out she was pregnant. 

When we held Angel in our arms, everything we ever wanted was delivered to us and we couldn’t have 

been happier. As luck would have it, four years later we were blessed with our son, Connor. 

Before his first birthday, his life and that of my wife’s was snatched away from me by a sleep-deprived 

lorry driver. Angel survived the car crash, but I had to give permission for the doctor to turn off the life-support machine to my wife. She had wanted her organs donating to help someone else, because that’s 

just the type of person she was. She always thought of others, even when the worst happened. I allowed 

Connor to do his bit too, knowing she would have wanted a part of him to live on, and give someone 

else the gift we had so tragically lost. 

So, sitting in the car and looking at the house, I need to drop my daughter off at, hurts. It hurts so much 

my chest tightens and I have to remember how to breathe. It’s another reminder that things are wrong 

in my life. It should never have been this way. It wasn’t on our five-year plan, or even ten. I shouldn’t 

need to drop my daughter off with a childminder, so she can get to school on time and we can keep up 

this farce called normalcy. There is no normal, only a ‘before’ and ‘after’ my world fell apart.

“Daddy, are we getting out yet?” she whines from the back seat, swinging her legs. I smile, she’s so 

impatient. Just like her Mum! “Dad!” 

“Yeah, sorry princess. I was day dreaming,” I say unclipping my seat belt. Checking the road first, I open 

my door and slam it shut before prising Angel’s open. Once we’re over the road, Angel skips to the 

entrance and knocks. I catch up to her as the door opens. 

“Hello cheeky, how are you this morning?” Erin beams, bending at the waist to greet Angel. 

“Good, Daddy was daydreaming in the car,” she says, running in as though she lives here. Erin laughs at 

her eagerness, as she always does. I wonder if it ever gets on her nerves, kids thinking they can just 

waltz in to what is essentially her home, but she only looks amused. 

“Full of beans, I see,” notes Erin. I chuckle and hand her Angel’s coat and bags. 

“Always,” I reply. Erin opens the door to the under-stairs cupboard and hangs Angel’s things up before 

closing them back in. Remembering, I chew my lip nervously. I should really have discussed this with Erin 

before dropping Angel off, but it’s too late now. “I need to ask you something.” 

Turning, she eyes me suspiciously before smiling. “I forgot to tell you. I have parent’s evening tonight. Is 

there any chance you could hold on to her for a little longer?” 

“Of course, what time till?” she asks laughing at my absentmindedness. 

“The last meeting is at 6.30, so I might be just after 7,” I explain. “Is that going to be a problem? If so, I’ll 

try to arrange for someone to pick her up?” I ask, worrying about who I should call.

“Tell you what, I’ve only got Angel and Matt. How about I order pizza and get it delivered for 7.30?” she 

asks. “That way, you don’t have to cook so late either.”

“I can’t ask you to do that,” I say, shaking my head. 

“I’m offering. You’ll be finishing late. I have nothing in for tea, and if you’re here when Angel eats, I don’t 

have to worry about nutritional value or allergens and writing temperatures down,” she laughs and I can’t help it. I suppose she has a valid point. I’ll be helping her fill out less paperwork and in return I get 

fed earlier. And who doesn’t enjoy pizza?

“Ok, but I’ll pick it up on my way back, that way I can pay,” I say. Erin nods, with an enormous smile on 

her face. 

“Deal,” she laughs.

“Anything you and Matt like in particular?” I ask, turning back to the door. 

“Matt likes Margherita. I’ll eat anything, but I love sausage,” She shrugs and then instantly blushes 

before turning away. Getting the unintended innuendo, I laugh as she covers her face with her hands. “I 

can’t believe I just said that,” she admits, hiding behind her hands. I’m still laughing, because I can’t help 

it. I’ve never seen her anything other than polite and professional. This slip has allowed me to see 

‘vulnerable’ Erin with a beetroot face. It’s endearing and hugely entertaining. “Right go, before I say 

anything else completely inappropriate,” she says, pointing to the door. Still a bright shade of pink. “Let 

me die of embarrassment in peace.”

“Ok, see you at seven or thereabouts,” I close the door behind me and walk to the car, shaking my head, 

trying to stop the chuckle that escapes. I can’t get her embarrassment out of my head, I hadn’t even 

taken it that way until she had changed colour, and it dawned on me exactly what she’d said. 

Reaching the school gates, I slow down and press the pin, in to let the gates up. Once I’m parked, I walk 

into the back of the school and head for my classroom that I need to prepare today for. I hate parent’s 

evening. Whilst I don’t mind telling the good kid’s parents that they’re doing well. The pushy, overachieving parents are annoying. They ask a billion questions about how to improve their kid’s mediocre 

brilliance to Einstein brilliance, when in reality they’re scraping by at the national average. I also have to 

contend with the parents of children who’d still rather eat their books than write in them. Made clearer 

with the amount of complaints I get about homework. But when I receive a badly written note from a 

parent telling me their innocent little terrorist is beside himself with worry every night because I raised 

my voice, I have to sit behind my desk and try not to lose my cool. They’re idiots, and their kids are 

master manipulators. One’s who understand the importance of getting their own way, any way possible, 

usually at the expense of my precious time and sanity alongside their parent’s dwindling dignity.

“You’re here early,” I look up from my desk to see Gabby, one of our newest teachers. She’s nice 

enough, even though she looks about twelve. I wonder how long she’ll last in this environment, where 

everyone judges you by look rather than your actual work load. Kids and parents can be fickle, that’s all 

I’m saying. Gabby is a ray of sunshine that I can’t envision existing here for too long. Somehow, they’ll 

manage to dampen her spirit and push her out. I’ve seen it happen before, and the school is inferior for 

it.

“I have to get a head start, parent’s evening tonight,” I say, lifting a kid’s writing journal to emphasise 

the fact.

“Oh, don’t. I’m bricking it. It’s my first one ever,” She laughs, nervously. “You’ll be fine, I’m sure. At least you’ve only known the little darlings for a month. You can’t have much 

bad to say?” I ask, smirking. I know her class and by the look she gives me, so does she. Laughing, she 

waves me off and I continue looking through the journal so I can write some notes. 

Class starts and ends, and all the kids clearly remember I’m speaking with their parents tonight, so 

they’re all on their best behaviour. Which makes me entirely too anxious. They must be hiding 

something. I’ve not had a single day, where I’ve not banished someone from the room, pulled a fight 

apart or reprimand someone’s language. It seems today they’re acting reservedly. Yeah, right! 

The last bell rings for the end of the children’s school day and the beginning of my judgement as a 

teacher. Gabby waltzes in and sits on my desk while I rub the white board clean. 

“Give me some tips,” She asks, or rather orders. 

“What for?” I ask trying not to laugh, she’s clearly nervous, and she needs to stop. Parents can smell fear 

the way sharks sense blood. 

“The parent’s evening,” she says as exasperated. Chuckling, I turn to witness her pale, drawn face, and 

wide eyes. 

“Be yourself,” 

“Horse shit, I’m new, not an idiot,” she replies and I can’t help but smile, she’s something all right. 

“If they’re good kids, tell them how proud you are of them. Lightly say where you’d like to work with 

them next, so they’re just as good in all areas as they are in their best. If they’re little shits, try to find 

something they’re good at, even if it’s comedy and work from there. Give as much info as you can about 

their academic achievements, and less about their personalities. Although some parents will ask about 

how they interact socially, so be ready for that one. Be concise, without being emotionally impaired. All 

you can do is your best Gabby, that’s all anyone can ask,” I advise and she smiles, a little more relaxed 

after my general run down. 

“Thank you, that really helps,” I shake my head and watch her waltz away with a spring in her step. 

When the last parent has gone, my head feels as though it’s made from cotton wool. I stack up the 

books and dump them behind my desk, ready for me to organise tomorrow. It’s too late now and the 

parents’ evening, as usual, overran. Checking my watch, I realise it’s six fifty. Quickly firing off a text to 

Erin, I rush out, so I can get pizza and be back at her place before everyone faints from starvation. 

Knocking on the door, she opens it wide and lets me inside. Dumping the pizzas on her kitchen counter, 

she retrieves plates. “They smell amazing, I’m starving,” she admits.

“Yeah, sorry about that. Some parents think they need to tell me their life story,” I roll my eyes and she 

laughs“Come on, you two. Foods here!” The kids come running through and I lift Angel to choose which one 

she wants. 

“Can I have a bit of each?” asks Matt, looking up at me hopefully once I place Angel down. 

“Yeah sure, buddy,” I answer. Picking up a slice of each, I place them on the plate Erin offers, then hand 

it to Matt. I do the same for Angel, because the second she heard Matt ask, her eyes lit up. 

“Take it straight in the front room, I’ll put a film on in a second,” calls Erin. 

“In the front room, really?” asks Angel, excitedly. 

“Yes,” Laughs Erin. “Just don’t tell the other kids, or they’ll be war,” she says, winking to Angel as she 

follows Matt. 

“I think that might have been more of a dig at me. I don’t let her eat in front of the television,” I inform 

Erin. 

“Oh, I’m sorry. I can get her to go up to the table if you’d prefer?” she asks, worrying. 

“No. You house, your rules, she knows that.” I answer. 

“Are you sure?” she asks, clearly uncomfortable doing anything against what I’ve imposed. 

“Absolutely,” I reply with a smile. She takes a breath in and relaxes, something I find strange. Grabbing 

another plate, she passes me it and we both pick from what’s left over. Strolling into her front room, I 

notice a huge television and sideboards dedicated to children’s toys. Part of me wonders where she 

keeps her personal belongings. I take a seat on the sofa at one end while she sits down at the other. 

Picking up the control, she searches on-demand. We listen to the kids firing off titles they spy and want 

to watch. Instead, she chooses something neither called out for. But five minutes in, and they’re both 

mesmerised, so I guess she knew best. 

“So, how was your day today?” I ask, watching her fold a slice of pizza up on her plate. 

“It was all right,” she shrugs. “I had two babies in, one of which didn’t stop crying. When they went 

home, I picked Angel up, and we went to the park. All in all, it’s been a fairly good day.” 

“You had a screaming baby all day, and it’s been fairly good?” I ask, sceptically. 

“Ok, apart from the screaming baby,” she admits, chuckling. 

“I thought my job was hard enough. I don’t think I could manage babies,” I say shaking my shoulders 

out, as though it gives me the creeps. She just shakes her head laughing before biting into her pizza. 

“At least with my job, I get to play all day. I don’t have to mark books and try to get them to sit still 

through a lesson,” she answers.“Yeah, there is that,” I confirm. “Though, I bet you get through a shed load of nappies.” Rolling her eyes, 

she grumbles. 

“Don’t. It’s definitely the worst part of the job, and I swear parents' stuff them at the weekends because 

Monday’s are the worst,” She laughs. 

“What made you want to open your house up and let a tonne of kids in to destroy it?” I can’t think of 

anything worse. Home is my sanctuary.

“Insanity,” She answers, laughing again. “I had Matt, and I only worked short days, but they were over 

the lunchtime period. If I wanted to put him into nursery, it meant I had to pay for the morning session 

and the afternoon session. My job simply didn’t pay enough. There was no point. I wondered how many 

other people found the same thing, so I built this,” she says looking around her, though I doubt she 

means the actual house. 

“How long you been doing it for?” I ask. 

“Since my maternity ended, so it’ll be about four years.” 

“How many hours a week do you work?” 

“I start about six thirty when I have to go and pick kids up. I normally take the last one home about six in 

the evening,” she answers. 

“Wow, they’re long days.” 

“Yeah, but if I didn’t offer the wrap around care, I’d barely make the mortgage each month,” she admits.

“Does your husband have Matt in the morning?” I ask. 

“No, he has to come with me, I’m afraid,” she answers, looking suddenly downtrodden. “Andrew left me 

a few months ago, so it’s just me and Matt now.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” 

“Well, I didn’t exactly broadcast it. It’s not much of a selling point, coming to a childcare service that’s 

also a broken home.” I watch her and I can see she’s in genuine pain over the breakup. I can’t believe I 

haven’t seen it before, but I don’t really delve into her personal life. She asks about Angel and most 

discussions revolve around her and my work for obvious reasons. I’ve never asked her anything personal 

before.

“I don’t think your personal life has much to do with anyone else.” I say, hoping to sound encouraging. 

“I wish that was true. I even had to announce our marriage break up to Ofsted, so they can take him off 

their list of occupants at a registered address. Besides, If I went round telling the parents I was a failure 

at my marriage, they might view me differently, probably not trust my judgement anymore and then 

where would I be?” she asks shrugging. “Human,” I answer. 

“Yeah, well, you probably would because you get it, but not everyone’s like you.” she says, trying to 

smile while worrying the crust between her fingers. “He left me for another woman.” 

“Wow, that’s er... tough.” 

“He said I was only interested in my job and Matt and he didn’t exist anymore. So he started seeing 

someone who had time for him.” Her head still hasn’t come up yet, and I feel so sorry for her. Not only 

did he do the dirty on her, but he placed all the blame at her feet, that’s a heavy burden for anyone to 

carry. 

“How long has he been gone?” 

“He left at Easter,” she says, looking back up to me. 

“I can’t believe you’ve been going through all this. You’re so upbeat when you open the door.” 

“It’s not the kid’s fault, besides I’m pretty sure the parents don’t want to hear about my problems,” she 

answers, stifling a laugh. “She says whilst telling a parent about all her troubles,” I laugh because I can’t 

help it, and I really don’t mind her telling me. Part of me is selfishly glad someone else’s life has been 

derailed too, not from a malicious stand point, just that it makes me feel less alone. 

“I don’t mind, I promise. Gives me something else to think about for a while.” 

“Oh, my god!” she says, slamming her hands up to her face. “I’m so sorry. I’m sat hear complaining 

about my husband when you went through what you did?” 

“Doesn’t make your drama any less traumatic,” I reassure her. 

“No, but it’s really disrespectful and thoughtless.” 

“It’s fine. I promise. The world doesn’t stop because I lost my wife.” 

“I know, but it’s tragic and my problems don’t seem anywhere near as important.” 

“They are to you,” I reassure her and she smiles back, shyly. I’m sure she doesn’t believe me, but I do 

understand her predicament. Losing my wife doesn’t change my empathy for her situation. Neither is 

ideal, but we’re not in competition either. 

“Would you like to share a bottle of wine?” she asks suddenly. 

“Sure,” seeing her walk away, I feel such sadness for what she’s going through. At least my wife didn’t 

have a choice to leave me. Her husband did. And I can’t imagine how much more painful that must be. 

Observing the kids laid on the floor, watching the film. I notice them giggle at the same funny moments, 

looking at each other with wide-open mouths when something they find shocking is said, before 

chuckling. Anyone would think they were siblings the way they mirror each other. Handing me a glass, I sip it and stare at the kids as they watch Nemo’s Dad swimming around for his son. 

I wonder if she’s even thought of the connotations of this story? When she sits back down, she watches 

the kids and smiles when they laugh. She certainly enjoys watching the kids enjoying themselves, and 

now I understand why she does what she does. Nursing her wine, she crosses her legs and turns to me 

as though she knows I’m looking at her. Clearing my throat, I decide to ask about Matt’s Dad, since he’s 

enthralled with a film about a Father trying to find his son. “Does he see his Dad?” 

“Andrew phones me when he’s not busy and takes him for pizza or Maccie’s. So far, he’s only had him 

overnight once, and he cried all night for me. He won’t have him again until he’s grown out of it,” she 

answers, looking away. She didn’t say it bitterly, but I can hear it in the background. She’s not amused 

with his behaviour, but trying to rise above it. 

“Is that what he said?” I ask, astonished. She nods, keeping her eyes on the television while she takes 

another sip. I can’t help but shake my head, because with everything I’ve been through, it’s Angel that 

has forced me to go on. Without her, I’m not sure I’d still be here.

About the author

I'm a mum of three and own my own childminding business. I love reading and writing and escaping to the beach. I have an unhealthy affection for coffee and chocolate and well as singing at the top of my lungs whilst being unable to actually sing. I live in the UK in a town called Newark. view profile

Published on August 28, 2020

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Reviewed by

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